Thursday, 25 January 2018

A poem by Dan Stathers


In a former life he mended fridges,
drove around Adelaide in a rusty ute.
That’s all we knew of his past, that
and his under/over bowling trick.

The lagoon was his medicine;
still drunk from the night’s grog,
he’d sink below its crystal-blue surface
and perform a medley
of half-baked strokes:
Best fuckin’ hangover cure I know,
he’d say as he towelled himself at the shanty bar,
toasting his survival
with a double on ice.

We’d watch the goats on the cliffs
while he talked his hippy-politics,
sharing the occasional silence as he rolled a cigarette
or read another page of Kerouac,
his wind-up radio singing fuzzily in the background.

Deep down I think he knew his time was borrowed,
his bootleg breakfast of Vodka and olives
as natural, to him, as the tides.

I often picture his shambled tent on the beach,
listen out for the fading longwave.

Dan is a writer from Kingsbridge, South Devon.

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